The Funeral of Bishop Nicola Agnozzi, Pioneer Among the Conventuals in Zambia and Australia

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Rome, 02/19/2008 ( – Today, at 15.00 hours (3:00 PM), prior to being interred at Ariano Irpino, they gathered in Fermo, Italy, in the church of St. Francis of Assisi, for the Mass of Christian Burial of the Most Reverend Nicola AGNOZZI, Bishop Emeritus of Ariano, who died on February 17, 2008, at the age of 96.

Friar Lanfranco Serrini, previous Minister General of the Order, previously wrote concerning him: “The life of Bishop Agnozzi is without equal. We need only look at the way he lived his daily life. A man serene and clearly dedicated to ideas that he had made his own long before. One who has been enriched by various adventures one after another. […] He is a Friar of 91 years of age, who continues to live the Franciscan Life with a certain freshness, like an attractive “model” in the frequent way he continues the search for fidelity to Franciscan Ideals, which animates his experience and leads him with simplicity and trust on the long path of one given to God.”

Bishop Nicola Agnozzi was born in Fermo, Itlay on November 15, 1911. At 19 years of age he entered the Conventual Franciscan Friary of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo (Ancona). Ordained a priest on March 18, 1934, he received the mission cross and mandate to go to Zambia, previously Northern Rhodesia, just five months later. Twenty years later he was part of the first Conventual missionary adventure to Australia (1954-1959). Returning to Zambia, he was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of Ndola on July 1, 1962, and became the Ordinary from 1966 to 1975 following Bishop Francesco Mazzieri. Returning to Italy on March 24, 1976, he was transferred to the Dioceses of Ariano Irpino and Lacedonia, where he remained until 1988. As emeritus, in September of that same year, he returned to Fermo, the city of his birth, where he lived out his days among the Conventuals at San Francesco.